Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi He described Evan Ferguson as “unique” after he secured his spot in the FA Cup quarterfinals with the young forward’s last goal.
Seagulls won 1-0 Stoke He saw Ferguson finish at close range at the half-hour mark at the end of a subtle move.
It was the fifth goal of the season for the 18-year-old player. Eire international and fourth in their last nine games.
De Zerbi said of Ferguson: “In terms of quality, in terms of characteristics, it is unmatched for us. He knows very well how to score goals.
“I think he can, and he needs to improve in the quality of the game, in possession, in order to have better possession.
“But he’s 18, he was born in 2004, and he’s definitely going to thrive because I know the man, I know his passion, his attitude, and I have no doubts.”
Ferguson’s goal was determined by a pass from Kaoru Mitoma after a perfect cross. Lewis DunkThe Brighton captain joins the club for the 400th time.
De Zerbi described Dunk as “an incredible player, an incredible guy” and also praised 18-year-old Facundo Buonanotte about the Argentine midfielder who signed in January: “I think he played a good game. I think he will be a great player for us in the future.” I am sure.”
Winning the FA Cup would bring the first major trophy in Brighton history, which is now eighth in the Premier League, higher than any they’ve finished in previous seasons.
“I can’t promise anything, but I can promise that we will work hard every day to make them (the fans) happy and proud of their team and club – just that,” the Italian player said.
“I understand they want to win the trophy and we want to win too, but to win we need to work, develop and believe. But for now we just have to think about West Ham (Brighton will host the league on Saturday) because we have a possibility to come to Europe.”
De Zerbi felt his side “deserved” the winners of a competition that saw backup Danny Welbeck add almost a second to his stopping time when he hit a pole.
Stoke, who is in 17th place in the championship, came very close to equalizing the score with Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe on loan in the 65th minute.
Tuanzebe, who signed last month, is making his first appearance since January 2022, when he played on loan with Napoli.
When asked if Tuanzebe is ready for more, Stoke boss Alex Neil he said: “I hope so. Axel is definitely the best player, the tolerance levels his body can handle, that’s going to be the question.
“He’s in really good shape. I think considering it’s his first decent match in 14 months, I thought his performance was excellent against top opponents. I think he deserves a huge amount of credit.
“Tolerance levels are unknown – that’s not a problem I envision for Axel, he could go and rattle the remaining games until the end of the season. But ultimately, when you’ve been out for 14 months, how much can your body handle before it starts tearing itself apart? How do you try to pull the players back to make sure we don’t overexpose them? I know.
Making seven changes to Brighton’s five in the starting lineup, Neil added Stoke’s performance as a whole: “I thought we were doing more than ourselves. I thought the boys dropped everything on the pitch, I don’t think we could ask for more from them.”